Daytona H.

(T abt 6.5f ,)

CHEROOT (DK B/ h, 117 lb) $62,700
Smokester —Triple Connection , by Far North
B—Charlotte Wrather, CA.; O—Charlotte Wrather; T—Darrell Vienna

Moth Ball (GB) (B g, 115 lb) $16,400
Royal Applause (GB) —Chrysalis (GB) , by Soviet Star
B—Stratford Place Stud, GB.; O—Cassidy, James M. and Pearson, Deron; T—James M. Cassidy

Notional (B h, 120 lb) $12,540
In Excess (IRE) —Truly Blessed , by French Deputy
B—Vessels Stallion Farm LLC, CA.; O—J. Paul Reddam; T—Doug F. O'Neill

Margins: nose, neck, head. Others: Tenga Cat 114($4,920) , Zoning In 116($2,090) , Night Chapter (GB) 117 , Hello Sunday (FR) 117 , Battle Won 117 , Gotaghostofachance 116 , Stoneside (IRE) 117 , Desert Code 118 , El Don 116 . Winning Jockey, Martin A. Pedroza.

Longshot Cheroot got up just in time to defeat Moth Ball by a nose in the Feb. 17 Daytona Handicap at Santa Anita in a blanket photo finish. It was the 7-year-old son of Smokester’s second stakes victory and first win since November 2006. He is trained by Darrell Vienna.

“We try to take good care of our horses and to give them the time they need,” said owner/breeder Charlotte Wrather. “Cheroot has had several breaks at home, sometimes just for his head.”

Wrather, who owns Cottonwood Ranch near Los Alamos, Calif., with her husband, Chris, bred the stakes winner out of the winning Far North mare Triple Connection.

“He is very business-like, honest, and such a trier,” Wrather said of Cheroot. “I am really hoping to get to breed him to one or two mares (in the future). I know that he lacks that extra edge of talent that you want in a horse, but he is sound, well-made, and so courageous.”

Wrather bought Triple Connection for $26,000 at the 1996 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November mixed sale. Consigned by Adena Springs, agent, she was offered in foal to Boone’s Mill.

“I wanted a mare that raced successfully, and I wanted a horse that had a certain kind of line breeding that was present in her,” Wrather said. “I also liked her physically.”

Out of the stakes-placed Tentam mare Perfect Connection, Triple Connection is a half-sister to graded stakes-placed Dixie Connection. In addition to Cheroot, she is the dam of stakes winner Beau Soleil, who won the 2004 Tiznow Stakes at Hollywood Park.

“Cheroot stayed out of trouble,” said Wrather of raising the stakes winner. “But he and his cohorts had a little escapade (as yearlings). They got chased through one of the pasture fences by a dog, and they all went for a little jaunt. Luckily they didn’t get off of our property, but it was scary.”

Triple Connection has a yearling Alphabet Soup colt and is due in May to either Turkoman or Game Plan. Her 2006 Redattore colt died as a yearling.

Smokester is the sire of 11 stakes winners. The son of Never Tabled died in 2005 while breeding at the Sahadi family’s Cardiff Stud Farm near Atascadero, Calif. He was 17.—A.H.D.